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Burlington food pantry opens during COVID-19 pandemic to help neighbors in need

The Burlington Food Pantry was supposed to be a slaughterhouse, the owner instead offered for it to become a temporary food pantry to help his neighbors during COVID

BURLINGTON, Maine — A new food pantry has opened in Eastern Maine. The Burlington Food Pantry opened late March as soon as the coronavirus hit the state to help its community members have healthy meals during these hard times.

This place was supposed to be a slaughterhouse, the owner instead offered for it to become a temporary food pantry to help his neighbors.

"I don't know when it'll ever be a small animal processing facility if I ever do!" says Fred Curtis.

Now this space is the Burlington Food Pantry. Located in 27 Barker St in Burlington, it serves as a drive-up resource where community members report the number of family members in their home, then volunteers fill the trunk accordingly, and off they go with bags of fresh produce, meat, cheese, and other food items.

"We contacted Good Shepherd and had been in contact with them for a couple of months before thinking about a food pantry and how does that work," says Maureen Bean, organizer of the food pantry.

The Burlington Food Pantry opened its doors in March after the pandemic hit. This part of Eastern Maine did not have a...

Posted by Hannah Yechivi on Friday, September 25, 2020

Rachel Tompkins has a family of six. She tells NEWS CENTER Maine, this place is a Godsend.

"Fruits and vegetables are amazing, and any of the meat really! All of it it's just all fresh and it's all just amazing help!" says Tompkins.

The pantry opens every other Thursday. An effort that started from scratch and now if doing what it can to lift a burden.

"There is a need here, and we've seen that need over the years, but even more so since March that we started this," says Bean.

"They were certainly eating something, but a lot of them told us that they are eating much better, and we know that the children are for sure!" says Curtis.

There are no qualifiers here at this food pantry, except..."can we help you with some food, and if you feel we can help you with some.. please come!" says Bean.

"It is really beneficial to us right now, especially with work hours cut down and everything else..so very beneficial!" says Tompkins.

Curtis says Powell Refrigeration in Eddington also helped the effort. Curtis bought the refrigeration unit used and Powell Refrigeration came to fix it four different times for no cost. "Mr. Powell himself came up and looked it over with me and he never charged me, the man is a gentleman and he deserves a shoutout," says Curtis.

Now that the Burlington Food Pantry has found a way to fill the need, it needs a permanent place to keep the effort going. If you would like to donate to this pantry you can donate to their PayPal account: theburlingtonfoodpantry@gmail.com or you can mail it to 27 Barker Road, Burlington, ME 04427.

The Good Shepherd Food Bank has an ongoing effort to help feed Mainers across the state, if you would like to donate click here.